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Comments on the news 2/5/2017
Raymond Richman, 2/5/2017

1) The big news was that the Federal Appeals Court of San Francisco temporarily at least supported the lower court judge’s  ruling staying the administration’s 90 day ban on immigration from seven countries with Moslem majority populations. What was surprising to me as a lawyer is that they allowed the ban while they considered the arguments. Normally, the practice is to stay the judge’s ruling while it considers the arguments. The Appeals Court gives the impression that political considerations determined their ruling. An anti-Trump judiciary? If so, shame on them.

2) A very interesting article appeared in the Feb.  3,  2017 issue of Quartz magazine, entitled “What Steve Bannon really wants” by Gwyn Guilford.

Following is a quote from the article:

“Bannon’s political philosophy boils down to three things that a Western country, and America in particular, needs to be successful: Capitalism, nationalism, and “Judeo-Christian values.” These are all deeply related, and essential.

America, says Bannon, is suffering a “crisis of capitalism.” (He uses the word “crisis” a lot—more on that later.) Capitalism used to be all about moderation, an entrepreneurial American spirit, and respect for one’s fellow Christian man. In fact, in remarks delivered to the Vatican in 2014, Bannon says that this “enlightened capitalism” was the “underlying principle” that allowed the US to escape the “barbarism” of the 20th century.

Since this enlightened era, things have gradually gotten worse. (Hence the “crisis.”) The downward trend began with the 1960s and ’70s counterculture. “The baby boomers are the most spoiled, most self-centered, most narcissistic generation the country’s ever produced,” says Bannon in a 2011 interview.”

We agree with Bannon but we would substitute balanced trade and protection of U.S. sovereignty for “nationalism” in the first sentence and we would begin the decline with FDR’s beginning of negations for a General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1941 which proved to be an abomination, leading to the 1994 agreement that established the World Trade Organization. The agreements caused the U.S. to become the world’s leading debtor whereas we had lone been the world’s leading creditor.

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    Wikipedia:

  • [An] extensive argument for balanced trade, and a program to achieve balanced trade is presented in Trading Away Our Future, by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman and Jesse Richman. “A minimum standard for ensuring that trade does benefit all is that trade should be relatively in balance.” [Balanced Trade entry]

    Journal of Economic Literature:

  • [Trading Away Our Future] Examines the costs and benefits of U.S. trade and tax policies. Discusses why trade deficits matter; root of the trade deficit; the “ostrich” and “eagles” attitudes; how to balance trade; taxation of capital gains; the real estate tax; the corporate income tax; solving the low savings problem; how to protect one’s assets; and a program for a strong America....

    Atlantic Economic Journal:

  • In Trading Away Our Future   Richman ... advocates the immediate adoption of a set of public policy proposal designed to reduce the trade deficit and increase domestic savings.... the set of public policy proposals is a wake-up call... [February 17, 2009 review by T.H. Cate]